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Praecisa Model Two solid-state preamplifier

[Italian version]

[Preamplifier Praecisa Model Two
[Click for full resolution]

We're living a magic moment for the HiFi made in Italy since, besides some well-known brands, a whole *new wave* of excellent Italian HiFi components is quickly becoming more and more important, with many new products that aim at the state of the art but still take into consideration the real-world possibilities of the audiophiles.
It is no longer hard to find products, built keeping in mind state-of-the-art craftmanship and Art, which leave a sign in the HiFi market and are even affordable.

The preamplifier Praecisa Model Two, built in Italy by Praecisa Acustica, is a component that amazes both at a first glance and at a first listening.

How is it built

It is clear, just at a first sight, that this preamplifier aims to the state of the art: it is divided into two *standard rack* cabinets, the second one being a huge hi-end dual-mono PSU (click here to see the picture of the PSU).
The preamplifier is an entirely class A dual mono Hex-Fet unit and is available with two different finishes: a serious plain black and a *nordic* silver.
On the top cover a complete scheme of the connections is available, very useful to find the right pair of connectors at the first try, avoiding difficult and painful contortions :-)
This pre-amplifier has 7 standard inputs + 2 tapes and even a double pair of *output* connectors is available in order to ease any kind of bi-amping. The quality of the gold-plated connectors is fair.
But it is the inside of this preamplifier that really shines: Noble, Palazzo switches, hyper-selected passive components. Everything finds its logical place inside the cabinet and it is clear that a *minimal signal path* method has been applied throughout.

How does it sound

First of all it is better to leave this pre-amplifier always ON.
For this reason the on/off switch is placed in the rear (as in the Audio Analogue Puccini) so that the owner is forced to leave the component ready to deliver its best performances.
The musical information this component offers to the power amplifier are exactly the same it receives from the source: nothing more, nothing less.
Once these musical informations reach the *output* they become Music, so real that you'll see your loudspeakers literally disappear, reproducing a sound that is warm and detailed at the same time.
The virtual soundstage is very realistic, wide and well focused.
Dynamically involving, this preamplifier never sounds cold or harsh, it knows well how to sound warm and amazing.
But please remember that this is a solid state component so its warm character isn't tube-like, at least it reminds the best hybrids (solid-state + tubes) in the market.
The best match would be a solid-state power amplifier, mos-fet or hex-fet equipped.

I've tried to use cheap power amplifiers like the NAD 316 or the Audio Innovation 500, just to put this preamp in non-ideal working conditions. No way! It succeded to get the best even from these amplifiers that clearly, for the price range, aren't the ideal partners for this hi-end preamp.

The Praecisa Model Two loves any kind of Music and is capable to work well with any kind of power amplifier and loudspeakers.
Needless to say it requires at least a mid-class source (you know the rule: garbage in, garbage out!) to perform at its best.

The list price for this preamp is 1500 US $ (in Italy) and, given its sound, the separated hi-end PSU and the high quality of its components it can be considered an absolute bargain. To get something better you'll be forced to spend at least twice.
For those of you who are technically skilled I'd suggest to buy the DIY kit, which is available at a price as low as 700 US $ (the bargain of the bargain).
Then one can choose four different configurations:

Could we ask for more?

Copyright © 1997 Mimmo Cacciapaglia

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